Botswana in June/08

Dec 13th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Botswana in June/08

Im new to this forum and have been searching a lot to define my itinerary for my next trip to botswana (thanks for all the posts, they helped me a lot). Ive already been twice to south africa and once to botswana.
My main interest is predators (lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs and hienas) and this time i will have 9 nights in bots (+ 1 in joburg).
My actual plan is:
- Duba Plains 4 nights (I read I should stay more time here to increase the chance of seing lion x buffalo interaction)
- 2 nights in kings pool/savuti/duma tau (try to find a cheetah, the only predator I still havent seen)
- 3 nights at mombo
Have anyone gone to duba this time of year? Do you know how are the floods?
How is the linyanti region this time of year? Which of those 3 camps do you recommed for game / predators (excluding the fact that KP is 6paw and more expensive)?
africama is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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africama: you are off to a great start with that itinerary. I have not been to Botswana in June so I'll leave that for someone others to comment on.

4 nights Duba Plains is ideal for lions! To maximize your opportunity for the buffalo interaction you will want to opt for a private vehicle and if possible book James 007 as your guide. If that is a budget issue I would drop Mombo, move to a suitable 5 paw level and invest the savings in the private vehicle here.

Kings Pool/Savuti/Duma Tau are all excellent with similar game viewing and the same cheetah and wild dogs in the area are seen by each camp so its just luck of the draw to be at the right camp at the right time. You should be able to choose based on which accommodation appeals the most as there should not be much difference in your viewing opportunities.

Mombo is excellent right now for lion but other predator sightings seem to have tailed off quite a bit due to the lion dominance. Still might be a good bet for leopard and general game is outstanding. If you want to focus on predator diversity and especially enhance your chances for cheetah I would drop Mombo and change to Kwara/Little Kwara or Chitabe. Of course things can change at anytime and there are no guarantees but virtually everyone to Kwara in the last year and a half has reported seeing cheetah. There is a very strong coalition of 3 brothers and now I believe there is a second pair as well so lots of great cheetah sightings.

The famous cheetah brothers patrol the Linyanti but they also wander through Selinda and Kwando all the way to Lagoon camp and perhaps beyond so with just 2 nights in Linyanti if you want to find your first cheetah I'd hedge my bets with more time in another good cheetah area.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for the fast reply. I decided this first itinerary looking at this forum.
The private vehicle is on my plans for duba plains. Im just checking availability with my TA on the camps and will ask for the private vehicle. Ill ask for james 007, I remember others recommending him also.
I think Ill keep mombo for the general game, knowing that the chance for lions is better than other predators. I had some wonderful sightings of leopards (always lots!!) and wild dogs (with pups this year) on my 2 trips to mala mala. And I decided with my wife to end the trip on a 6 paw camp and she always wanted to know mombo, we tried to go there on our last trip but it was booked and we couldnt change dates.
I still have the doubt about the other 2 nights. Little kwara can be an option to linyanti...
africama is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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I would ditto Predator, especially with cheetah as a goal.

Based on the feedback of others, I no longer think Mombo is worth the approx $500 per person per day premium. I think the accommodation is very lovely, though. (I have not been to Mombo lately.)

That time of year is good at the places you mentioned. In the past there were some sites to monitor floods. Haven't seen any for the current situation. I'll check further or others may have some.

Cheetah are showing up in Vumbura. I didn't see any but was impressed with the game viewing. You would not need to do any water activities there. So that's a possibility too.

Any combo of camps mentioned would be great!
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 05:52 PM
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I was in Botswana in June, 2006. We stayed at Kwetsani, which is a beautiful camp. We had lions pass through camp, spent time watching a leopard and her cub, had two male lions fighting over a kill in front of our camp, while two females and their cubs waited nearby. It's a good idea to spend 4 nights at Duba Plains as we spent 3 nights and the lions weren't active while we were there. We were told that they had killed the previous day and the buffalo had scattered to an area where the vehicles couln't go because of too much water. Duma Tau was outstanding. We saw wild dogs, cheetah, leopard with two cubs, many lions and lots of elephants. This is where we saw two dead lionesses who were killed protecting their cubs from 2 males from another area. Very sad.
raelond is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 01:23 AM
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I wonder if you are referring to the two selinda pride lionesses that were killed at DT?
HariS is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 02:52 AM
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Duba Plains is high on my wish list - it was one of those that only narrowly didn't make our 2004 itinerary. I would love to witness the famous lion/ buffalo interactions there.

Savuti was great for cheetah but my particular favourite experience there was the wild dog sightings. It was good for general game too.

Mombo when we went in 2001 was great for leopard, lion and cheetah but in 2004 the cheetahs were rarer because of the lion dominance mentioned above. That said the leopard sightings were still magnificent - very close up, usually quite extended (not just brief glimpses) and very photogenic.
Kavey is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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I still did not receive an answer from my TA to know if the camps are available, I know I want to do the 4 nights at Duba and some at mombo. Now im considering Chitabe and Vumbura also for cheetah. Dont know how to divide 5 nights between them also...
africama is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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Being mad about cheetah, myself ....... only thing i can say is, they are one of the more difficult predators to find. Good luck.
HariS is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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I would take Savuti or Duma Tau over Kings Pool, with Savuti being favorite.
Try and stay at Little Mombo if possible, tent 2 is awesome.
napamatt is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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The main purpose of the trip is not only cheetah but focus on all predators.
We are just in love with africa and after our first visit to botswana this year we decided to go again next year (our idea was to go to east africa on 2009, but we liked Botswana so much that we decided to go again in 2008 and postpone east africa).
I know cheetah is not easy to find and its difficult to know where they will be because of their big home ranges, but if we dont see one on this trip then we will have a good excuse to go again in 2009...
is there any difference between mombo and little mombo or just the number of rooms?
After I saw the elephant hide on savuti I think we will probably choose it if we decide for linyanti. Now I am between Savuti, Chitabe, Vumbura and Little Kwara...
africama is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 02:40 AM
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If you do go to the linyanti area ... two nights is pretty much skimming the surface and is very insufficient.

HariS is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 02:58 AM
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Rooms at Little Mombo and Mombo are the same; there are 9 in Mombo and 3 in Little Mombo.

The public area at main Mombo is, of course larger, being designed for 18 guests rather than 6.

The two aren't very far apart and the souvenir shop that is shared by both is between them.

The accommodation is very pleasant but my main reason for returning in 2004 was the wonderful game viewing, not least of the leopards during the day.

Given your enthusiasm for predators I'd definitely do more than 2 nights at Savuti (or King's Pool if you want luxury) as their wild dog pack is something to behold!
Kavey is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 03:38 AM
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Still no answer from my TA on with camps are available. I agree with you that I should stay more than 2 nights in linyanti. Now Im between 2 itinerarys:

4 nights Duba Plains
3 nights Savuti
2 nights Mombo


4 nights Duba Plains
2 nights Chitabe or Vumbura
3 nights Mombo
africama is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 03:59 AM
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Personally, I'd opt for Savuti over Chitabe BUT that's purely subjective based on what my viewing was like in these two camps which I have visited only once each. Others have had much better viewing at Chitabe than I did. Likewise, when I went to Little Vumbura in 2001 it was marketed primarily as a water camp and we focused on water activities (which were magical) but the game viewing from vehicles wasn't great. But since then, the emphasis has changed and I understand viewing in the concession is good.

Kavey is offline  
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